Dylan and Rosie Mee: Where Are the Kids From We Bought a Zoo Now?

In Cameron Crowe’s 2011 drama film ‘We Bought a Zoo,’ protagonist Benjamin Mee has an intricate relationship with his children, Dylan and Rosie Mee. While Rosie embraces the zoo her father buys wholeheartedly from the first day, Dylan takes time to accept the same as his new home. Eventually, the boy realizes the importance of the establishment and joins his father to set up the re-opening of the place. Dylan and Rosie are fictionalized versions of Milo and Ella, the real children of Mee. The two siblings grew up to become adults at Dartmoor Zoological Park, where they have been living for nearly two decades!

Milo and Ella’s Introduction to Dartmoor Zoo

When Benjamin Mee bought Dartmoor Zoo in 2006, Milo and Ella were around six and three years old respectively, unlike the 14-year-old Dylan and 7-year-old Rosie. The two siblings were captivated by the zoo from the start and the otters which lived at the place played a key role in the same. “For Milo and Ella, it was the otters that captured their imagination. Quickly they became smitten with the creatures, who make the most ridiculous squeaky-toy noises whenever you go past,” Mee wrote in his memoir ‘We Bought a Zoo.’ Watching his two children immersed in happiness while playing with animals filled the heart of the zoo owner.

Milo and Ella gradually became a prominent part of the zoo. They started to feed the animals and two ferrets particularly enjoyed spending time with them. Their happiness didn’t last long because of their mother Katherine’s fight with cancer. When her illness returned, with no hope left for her, the siblings saw their mother slowly dying. “’I don’t want Mummy to be dead,’ Ella said. But Milo stayed where he was. I told him it was okay to cry, but he just became very still as he took it into himself, and he said; ‘I don’t want to cry. I want to be strong for you, Daddy.’ Everybody has their own way, so he just watched Ella and me cry,” Mee added in his book.

As time went by, Milo and Ella grew up with animals as a big part of their lives. “Gradually they [Milo and Ella] have developed a deeper understanding of the animals and their needs, cross-referencing their daily exposure with a boundless appetite for natural-history documentaries,” Mee’s memoir reads. When ‘We Bought a Zoo’ was getting shot, the siblings went to California to appear in the movie.

Milo and Ella: Becoming Adults

As a teenager, Milo was homeschooled. At the age of fifteen, he opted for The Open University. “Open University was a fantastic choice for me, and they accommodated me and my youthful situation brilliantly. I was able to continue learning independently and now had a continuous workload perfectly designed for remote learning part-time students – building towards concrete qualifications,” Mee wrote about his experiences in a student blog post published by Brasenose College.

Meanwhile, Milo started to excel in parkour. He performed the same for several Christmas advertisements shot in shopping centers across the United Kingdom. In 2018, he developed a film about Dartmoor National Park after receiving training as the winner of a short film competition. “The project aimed to give young people a better understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of the National Park,” he described his work.

Since 2020, Milo has been a University of Oxford student, learning biology at Brasenose College, one of the constituent colleges of the globally renowned institution. As a student, Milo has been highly active. He served as a broadcast producer of The Oxford Scientist, the university’s independent science magazine, and The Oxford Blue, an award-winning online newspaper, for six and nine months respectively. From January 2022 to November 2022, Milo also worked as a science section editor of Cherwell Newspaper, a weekly newspaper published entirely by the university’s student community.

Milo and Ella are avid travelers as well. In 2023, Milo climbed the Avon Gorge sea walls located in Bristol, England. Ella, on the other hand, is a potter who has been making exceptional ceramic pieces as a student of Cardiff School of Art & Design’s Ceramics department. They both spend their time extensively at Dartmoor Zoological Park, where the Mee family continues to live.

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